Book Launch Concept: The launch brings together a small group of individuals with familiarity on the ground and around the situation in Hong Kong to discuss the ideas, suggestions, and arguments developed in the book within the context of their own research and experiences. The Small group includes (1) William Nee (Research and Advocacy Coordinator at Chinese Human Rights Defenders; previously with Amnesty International in thier Hong Kong Office); (2) Keren Wang (Assistant Teaching Professor in Communication Arts and Sciences, Pennsylvania State University); (3) Marianne von Bloomberg (Editor European China Law Research Hub, Research Associate, Chair for Chinese Legal Culture, University of Cologne), (4) Shan Gao (Assistant director at Coalition for Peace & Ethics and legal counsel Chisheng Law Firm); and Matthew McQuilla (Penn State MIA 2021 and moderator).
After opening statements reflecting on their own engagement with the book, the panelists will engage in a conversation around a series of questions posed by the author and as submitted by participants. The object is to foster conversation that includes those who have attended the event.
Among the questions that the participants may address:
(1) Miscalculations: whose miscalculations were the most impactful, those of the protesters, of the local and central authorities, or of the international community?
(2) What dd the protester movement get wrong, and what dd they get right?
(3) Were the protests useful for exposing the growing rift in the meaning and application of human rights regimes between Marxist-Leninist and developing states on the one hand and the liberal democratic states and international organizations on the other hand?
(4) what was the role of sacrifice in the protests and the reactions that follow; how did the notions and practice of sacrifice mold outcomes and the course of events?
(5) The discourse of the central authorities: (a) to whom did it play best?; (b) how well did the protesters and international community respond or engage with this discourse? (c) did the development of the discursive themes developed in response to the protests drive development of Chinese Marxist-Leninism or to was the reverse true, that the situation in Hong Kong drive the further development of Chinese Marxist Leninism?
(6) Is a a gulf between the National Anthem and National Security laws as explained in 2020 and the way in which they are enforced in 2021? Or does its application merely mirror the intent already well disclosed in the developing rhetoric from 2019 ans 2020?
(7) Meaning making: does Hong Kong suggest that the power of meaning making on the streets has diminished now in the post global; which proved more effective discursive textual meaning making or meaning making on the streets?
(8) Did the end result of the protests and the triumph of the central authorities shine a light on the increasing weakness of international institutions and of the international law project especially around the concept of human rights as a restraint on state legality?
(9) what lessons should other states draw form the events of 2019-2020 in Hong Kong? Other international organizations?
The book is available for purchase (pdf form for $8.88 (US)).